Is this year almost over?! What an epic journey it has been! The last two weeks have been incredibly busy- we’ve covered Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and are currently in Florida enjoying the sunny weather and beautiful palms. We had our first experience of dealing with below freezing temperatures… that was fun! Lets recap the last few events:
Walker, LA – It was pouring rain, and SO COLD! But we had brave souls that came out anyways. :) Thanks to Andrew and Liz, they brought us satsumas for the road and the best sweet potato pie ever!
Atlanta, GA – One of our favorite stops. We had the pleasure to be with the students of Trinity School for presentations and sunspot watching. Many thanks to Joe, Maryellen, and cousins Josh and Lindsey for facilitating this educational event. A special thank you to Jim and Marilyn Black, founders of the Apollo Fund – it was a pleasure to meet and chat with all of you!
Our public stop was at Whole Foods – we had a great turnout! Thanks to Tim of Hudson Designs for a beautiful custom Suspicious0bservers tile. Darren and Christine, longtime supporters, refused to let bad luck stop them from coming when their car broke down- they called a cab and made it to Whole Foods! We met SO many wonderful folks in the Atlanta area. A BIG thank you to sponsors Pat and Mary for hosting us, and the RV that evening. We will definitely be back in Atlanta!
Morganton, NC – A last minute scramble due to bad weather forced us to relocate our location- no problem though, as our friend Bill came to the rescue! 17 degrees? No problem. A full propane tank and a space heater in the outside bins kept us and our pipes from freezing.
Charlotte, NC – Thank you to Richard, owner of Champion Gymnastics, for hosting us at his training facility. I tried to convince Ben to get on the beam and try some gymnastics moves, but failed miserably.
Raleigh, NC – We had a stop at the Whole Foods in Cary. It was a beautiful day to interact with more sponsors and supporters, and we got to stock up our fridge while we were there!
Charleston, SC – We had a potluck event at the Pine Ridge Fire Department – thanks to Janene for taking charge of the event (she makes the BEST chili!). We met some amazing people there, and got lots of good baby advice for when the time comes. We also had a record broken: there are many folks that have showed up to events that had to make a serious drive to get there. Until Charleston, the 0bservers that held the record for the longest drive were from Alberta, Canada (4.5 hours)…but it was shattered by Joe, who drove a whopping 11 hours from PA to make it to Charleston after being unable to see us when we began the tour.
Jacksonville, FL – It rained the majority of the time we were there, but the sun came out (albeit briefly) for us to have a meet and greet. It was so nice to see familiar faces come to multiple events!
Orlando, FL – We hesitated having an event in Orlando on Thanksgiving Day, but decided to anyways! The Mobile Observatory was posted up outside of Eddie V’s, a delightful seafood and steak restaurant. Thanks to Mark, the manager, for hosting us! It is always nice to run into a fellow Buckeye/Ohio State graduate. If you are in the area and are ever looking for a nice place for fine dining- look no further!
It is simply amazing how fast time flies when you are on the road, moving to a new place every day or so. When we were in the Carolinas, we were apprehensive and even considered rescheduling our stops due to temperatures. We spent Thanksgiving night at the Loves truck stop between Orlando and Tampa, and we were not expecting to wake up to 41 degrees in central Florida. Ben, bless his heart, is calm, cool, and collected for the most part, but when it comes to the functionality of the RV and something going wrong, he tends to jump to worst-case scenarios.
Example: When we were stuck out in the boonies of NJ with no service and the RV wouldn’t start, there was a small panic attack. “Oh my gosh, something TERRIBLE has happened! The starter is probably the problem – OMG we can’t put the slide in. OMG we are going to have to get towed, how are we going to get a hold of anyone?! This is going to be sooo expensive. We’ll have to stop the tour for who knows HOW long until this gets fixed!” I always try to stay positive- “I’m sure it’s not that bad. Everything will be OK. Its not going to be as bad as you think- this is just a hiccup and we’ll keep moving on!” That good energy and positive outlook just HAS to be there…. Otherwise we’d both be running around losing our minds!
So when it came to the RV dealing with the possibility of not being able to withstand the temperatures, and us having to deal with a number of things that could go wrong (frozen tanks, broken lines, water pump freezing, etc)… we needed to make sure we were PREPARED! After all, its one thing when you don’t know what the temperatures are going to be; its another when your husband is S0 and watches the weather every day like its his job (oh wait, it is!).
In addition to a full tank of propane, had the tanks drained and carried plenty of water on hand in case. Dealing with this cold (and a spazzing husband) was quite the operation – but we survived with NO problems! Many high fives were exchanged between us.
We are currently in Clearwater, Florida, taking some time off to catch up on work on which we’ve fallen behind, and set a few days aside to be with family. The Mobile Observatory has been an absolute beast, but its time for her to get some servicing done for the last leg of the journey. The tour HAS been updated, with many stops in CO, NV, CA and more being postponed. We’ve decided to stop in February after the Conscious Life Expo to get me home and settled in preparation for welcoming a new life into our family. At that point, I’ll be 6.5 months pregnant, and we don’t want to take any chances on the road if something goes wrong.
Ben will continue to be at selected events, including a potential stop at PrepperCon in Salt Lake City, and we’ll try to hit the road again should things fall in place and it’s the right thing for our family. We’ve connected with people that have raised their children in an RV, and can cook a full Thanksgiving meal in theirs, so nothing is impossible!
Our blog covers the journey as we roll along - sharing stories of people we've met and engaged with, places we've seen, the discourse between a couple with two animals sharing <300 sq ft of moving living space, and more!